WiiChuck controlled RC car

So I built a line following robot last year and it was cool, but it really just did its own thing and wasn’t very interactive. Fast forward to now and I finally got the stuff together to build my own WiiChuck controlled RC car. It was a lot of fun to make and I hope others are interested in trying out projects like this as well.

What you will need:

  • Arduino
  • Wii Nunchuck
  • old soap dish
  • WiiChuck adapter ($4 at sparkfun)
  • Rutgers Motorshield or equivalent

The code I created for the project is open source and can be found here

You will also need to download the WiiChuck library.

No Shave November

Tomorrow marks the first day of my 30 day journey of not shaving. This should be a rather easy mission to accomplish however I will have to try and find a way to disguise it if I have to meet anyone important or if I have an interview. I know my girlfriend will probably be upset about this as well but, it’s a guy thing and she just wouldn’t understand… I wish every man good luck on their quest of beard epicness and I would love to compare beards at the end of the month. Happy November!

LOL Shield – Starting Things Easy

While I was over at the Maker Faire the other week I finally decided to take my arduino work more seriously. With that in mind I bought the simplest most annoying shield ever found across the net. The LOL Shield, lol standing of course for, Lots of LEDs. It was a fun project for a Thursday night. I finished soldering all the connections in about 1.5 hours and it was up and running almost instantly.

I must say this project is not for the feeble handed, it takes a lot of patients to solder 126 LEDs, yes you heard right more LEDs then would be ever necessary for any project, but then again the 8x8x8 LED cube  requires 512.

So what do I do now… Well, since I’m done with this I guess I could start manually programming it to do cool animations, except you cant really do much with 126 pixels. So for now I guess I’ll just leave it with Conway’s game of life running and see the interesting patterns it creates.

One possible idea could be to hook an inferred sensor onto it and measure how often my Betta fish chase each other, since I really have nothing better to do with my time.

A test of the LOL Shields font capabilities can be seen below:

Embedded Systems: The arduino

I first used the arduino last year in IEEE Robotics when we did a line following robot competition. Needless to say it went pretty well considering my small knowledge of C. However, the arduino makes programming a multi controller a piece of cake.

This year, I plan to take the arduino to a whole new level and combine a few of the things I have been learning in class to start building my own creations such as; a LCD Clock, LED Text display, and my biggest project, an 8x8x8 LED cube which can be used to display animations in 3d which will also look really freaking awesome.

Yes I know it will require 8^3 (512) LED’s, but I think it will be a really good learning experience and will also be a great show piece next to the fish tank in my room.

Created by agofi on instuctables.com

It’s actually really simple to make but putting 512 LED’s together will be extremely tedious. Basically you put the positive and negative terminals in a sort of plane that will allow the multi-controller to address each individual LED

IGVC: The Intelligent Ground Vehicle Competition

I am helping with the designing, manufacturing, and programming of a robot to survive the great outdoors.  It will navigate obstacle courses, travel to landmarks, and wow judges with the awesome engineering know how used to  design it.  Our mechanical design has already materialized as a flexible system based around 8020 extrusion and water-jet machined aluminum.  Our software system will feature a cluster of laptops running the latest in research robotics software, ROS, and use computer vision to perceive the world.  This is to be our most challenging project yet, but we are making great progress.  We are set to have a driving chassis and testing platform before Thanksgiving.

Anyone who is interested in sponsoring the project can contact me at: elie-at-trickedcomputers.net

For more information on the project click here

Here I am…

…Sitting in my Principles of Electrical Engineering class, hopeful about this new blog. I decided to create this blog because of my passions for programming, computers, electronics, and in general all things with blinking lights.

It all started from when I was young, when I would stick my fingers in outlets and take apart toys that would never get put back together without at least five left over screws (they worked better without them anyways).

I knew I would become an Engineer since pre-school when I was the only kid in class making 3d architecture with Popsicle sticks while the rest of the class was stuck in the 2d world (what losers…). My friends get annoyed sometimes when I just stare into space trying to figure out how things work and the mechanics behind it. My mind is like a storm of creativity and curiosity.

I hope to update this blog as often as possible on the various moments in my life when a) I have nothing better to do and b) I find something interesting that I would like to share with the world.

Feel free to send me an email at anytime if you have any questions, or if you would like to chat about the various things I’m interested in.

Topic of the day: Currents and Voltages… the professor is rambling on about circuits, he seems to know what he’s talking about so I guess that’s a good thing.